SEM-EDX Analysis of Bacterial Carbonate Deposits on Wood

We received a highly interesting sample from researchers at the University of Eberswalde, which we microscopically analyzed with our Coxem Tabletop SEM-EDX The Department for Sustainable Development researches the use of natural materials and investigates, among other things, the aging of wood.

Employees from the wood engineering department (Abteilung Holzingenieurwesen) sent us an aged wood sample with a typical discoloration. Using our Coxem scanning electron microscope, we imaged the microstructure in high resolution and performed an elemental analysis of the discoloration.

Our analysis has shown that the aging of the wood is caused by bacterial decomposition. The bacteria settle on the wooden surface and deposit carbonate material, which shows up as discoloration on the surface. The bacteria themselves are only a few micrometers in size, the carbonate structures spread over the entire surface. The carbonate was identified by the presence of calcium in the element spectrum (EDX).

Kalkablagerungen von Bakterien auf Holz-Ausschnitt

More information about the method can be found on our SEM-EDX overview page or in our SEM-EDX guideline.

If you would like to carry out similar analyses or are interested in your own SEM-EDX system, we look forward to hearing from you.